When choosing a therapist, it is important to consider their Areas of Practice. specializes in:

When choosing a therapist, it is important to consider their Areas of Practice. specializes in:

When choosing a therapist, it is important to consider their Areas of Practice. specializes in:

Emotional Fitness

Small, consistent practices can significantly boost well-being at work, but it’s important to remember that employee well-being is an organizational issue too. Factors like workload, flexibility, management style, and team culture all play a role.

Even though you can’t control everything at work, there are powerful, science-backed practices you can use daily to build your emotional resilience and well-being.

Think of emotional fitness like being in peak physical condition. Just as working out strengthens your body to handle physical demands, building emotional fitness equips you to navigate challenges with less stress, overwhelm, and struggle. It’s about cultivating a supportive relationship with yourself, your thoughts, and emotions, and fostering healthier connections with others.

Ready to unlock surprising power in your emotional well-being? Here are 6 simple practices to help you manage stress and thrive:

Implement a short mindfulness practice into your daily routine to check in with your present state

Take a mindful moment each day to check in with yourself. Ask, “How am I feeling today?” Notice your emotions without judgment. Simply by acknowledging them, you can begin to understand your inner world better. Studies show that emotional awareness is linked to greater well-being. Recognizing difficult emotions can actually weaken their hold on you, empowering you to take steps towards feeling better.

Take short and recharging breaks during the day

Quality over quantity: that’s the key to a good break. It’s about truly disconnecting from work, refueling your mind and body, and coming back refreshed. Scrolling mindlessly or catching up on tasks won’t do the trick. Research suggests our brains crave breaks every 90-120 minutes to function optimally and avoid burnout. A Microsoft study even found that taking short 5-10 minute breaks between meetings significantly reduced stress and improved focus. For many, a perfect quality break involves stepping outside for a short walk. This simple act, backed by mountains of research, boasts a powerful combination of benefits – boosting mood, sharpening focus, and enhancing motivation. The key is to find what works for you, whether it’s a walk in nature, some mindful meditation, or even a few minutes of deep breathing exercises.

Embrace acceptance to empower your focus on what you can control

Acceptance is a powerful tool for managing stress. It involves two key steps:

  1. Clear-eyed Awareness: Acknowledge the situation for what it is, focusing on facts rather than getting tangled up in “what ifs” or negativity.
  2. Actionable Acceptance: Identify a single, manageable step you can take to move forward. This could be anything that breaks the cycle of worry and allows you to feel a sense of progress.

We often underestimate how much dwelling on stressful situations drains our energy. Practicing these steps helps you shift your focus from what you can’t control to what you can. Even a small action, like making a plan or delegating a task, gives your brain a win. This feeling of progress motivates you to keep moving forward and tackle the situation one step at a time.

Spark connection with colleagues

After years of isolation, genuine connection is more important than ever. Here are some simple ways to boost your well-being and your colleagues’:

  • Start your day with a smile. A warm greeting, virtual or in-person, sets a positive tone.
  • Bring a little joy to meetings. Ask everyone to share a quick “win” or something good from their week.
  • Connect beyond work. Reach out to someone for a casual chat, just to see how they’re doing.

Remember, we’re all social creatures! Studies show that social support reduces stress and anxiety. By taking these small steps, you can create a ripple effect of positivity and belonging within your team and workplace. It doesn’t take much time, but the benefits for everyone’s well-being are significant.

Cultivate gratitude to combat your brain’s negativity bias

Feeling overwhelmed by uncertainty? You’re not alone. Our brains struggle with the unknown, often triggering anxiety and negativity. But there’s a powerful antidote: gratitude.

Start a daily gratitude ritual, even if it’s just taking a few minutes in the morning or evening to jot down three things you appreciate. By focusing on the positive, you shift your brain’s focus from “fight or flight” to a wider perspective. This doesn’t mean ignoring challenges, but reminding yourself of the good things that exist alongside them. Think of gratitude as fuel for your emotional resilience – your ability to bounce back from difficulties. By acknowledging the positive, you build your inner strength and equip yourself to navigate uncertainty with greater calm and confidence.

Emotional Fitness and Mindfulness

Prioritize active recovery during your free time

Make time for the activities that truly light you up outside of work. Whether it’s getting lost in a good book, nurturing a beautiful garden, or exploring a new creative outlet like watercolors or writing, prioritize activities that energize and nourish your soul. Remember, true rest goes beyond mindless scrolling or screen time. It’s about engaging in activities that bring you joy and a sense of fulfillment.  This active form of self-care allows you to return to work feeling refreshed and inspired, ready to tackle challenges with renewed focus.

You are more than your work

This is true even (and maybe especially) if you love your job. But here’s the secret: nurturing your passions outside of work fuels your capacity to excel within it. Think of it like this: your hobbies, interests, and creative pursuits are like kindling for the fire of your professional drive. By dedicating time to activities that spark joy and fulfillment, you replenish your energy, boost your creativity, and return to work feeling refreshed and inspired.

Think of emotional fitness like being in peak physical condition. Just as working out strengthens your body to handle physical demands, building emotional fitness equips you to navigate challenges with less stress, overwhelm, and struggle.

By Deepak Santhiraj, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

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